I had a dream the other day… we were in Belgium, in Oostende back at Opa & Oma’s (my grandparents’ place). We were sitting around the table and the sun was setting in the North Sea. We were all laughing, I don’t know at what, and there was food on the table. My Opa (grandad) walks in from the corridor, I think he was carrying a bottle of wine, but could have been something else. He said something in his ‘attempted Portuguese’ and we all laughed hysterically, with tears in our eyes, tears of joy… As we all went quieter, I looked over at my Opa and realised this could not be – ‘you died’ – I said… and as reality sunk in, a sudden sorrow took over me. As he faded away with a smile I was left in the deepest sadness, a sadness words cannot describe. I woke up with tears in my eyes.
Having grown-up in Portugal we were always apart from my dad’s side of the family, but we would still see our grandparents at least once a year. I realised after that dream that it’s been one year and four months since we last saw and hugged each other… and maybe that’s why I felt such a sudden need to be with Opa, maybe that’s why I dreamt of him. Maybe it’s because it’s been almost a year since he passed away… I am not sure.
The truth is, I suddenly miss him, like never before. Suddenly I have things I want to tell him, pictures I want to show him, dreams I want to share. It’s been more than a year since our last e-conversation, and I find myself missing his emails. I miss him. I know everyone else does, I can imagine this has been an everyday feeling for those who lived closer to him (my Oma, aunt, cousins…and for my dad as well). But suddenly I feel like this is about the longest we’ve ever been without seeing each other and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I miss him…
Those who follow the blog know I don’t believe in letting regrets consume you, but I do believe in regretting some things, otherwise how would we learn? That being said, I am sorry that he never got to read any of my posts, that we never got to engage in conversations about some of the topics I’ve written about… Knowing him, I am sure he would have been the number one reader, refreshing the page everyday looking to see whether there were new posts and, probably, printing it, so he could read properly. He was always like that, 120% interested in understanding all of what his children and grandchildren were up to.
I miss him…
I wish I could tell him about this museum I visited I know he would like; I wish I could tell him about my work, even if I had to explain over and over what Cystic Fibrosis is… oh, who are we kidding? By now he would have probably bought a book on the subject and done an extensive amount of research already… I wish I could tell him about the books I’ve been reading and what the Dalai Lama says. And I am sure he would have loads to say about the crazy world we’re living in now, the scary and worrying world, and that he would be heartbroken about the recent attacks in Brussels and all that’s going on in general… ‘terrible terrible’ – I can hear him say.
Oh, I miss you… and there’s nothing I can do about it, other than just missing you. I’m coming over in a few weeks – to see Oma and Belleke and the boys and everyone – and in a way they always make me feel closer to you, as does the house, and Oostende. I know I’ll still be missing you, but there’s just so much of you there, it just makes me feel closer… can’t really explain. Meanwhile you can still show up in my dreams, it’s OK, sadness is just a small part of it, the LOVE we feel for you, even in a dream, that’s the biggest part of all. So please, keep showing up.